Header Photo Image1

The 1951 BSI Dinner group photo

Festivities on the 97th anniversary of the Master’s birth commenced at 6:45pm with dispatches from scion societies in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and Denmark, as well as greetings from President Harry S. Truman.

Paul Gore-Booth reported on the favorable prospects for the mounting of a Sherlock Holmes exhibition by the St. Marylebone Borough Council during the forthcoming Festival of Britain. This development had already received coverage in The London Times. James Montgomery presented the attendees with a medley of songs, concluding with his leading the assemblage singing “We Never Mention Aunt Clara.”

The first annual Designation for Scientific Merit was awarded to the Six Napoleons of Baltimore for “assiduous and scholarly pursuit of their endeavors.” This distinction was marked by the gift of a plaster bust of the titular ruler to Lloyd H. Denton, “past master” of the Baltimore group. Of especial note is the presentation by Roger G. Harris of the Amateur Mendicant Society of Detroit regarding the erection of a plaque in the Criterion Bar in London to commemorate John Watson and Stamford’s initial meeting, “without which all would have been naught.” Some funds had already been collected towards this end. However, a dispute arose over whether the plaque should be placed in that suggested location, at 111 Baker Street, or in the laboratory of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. Edgar W. Smith, Buttons-cum-Commissionaire, was charged to confer with the Detroit Society and to mediate a final decision.

Dinner Details: January 5, 1951
Racquet and Tennis Club, New York, NY

Dinner Photo Information

Click on the above photo to see a larger version of it, and maximize your browser window to see the most detail.

Key to People in the 1951 BSI Dinner photo (PDF)

BSI Honours List

Carl H. Anderson as The Resident Patient
Rolfe Boswell as The Five Orange Pips
Roger Clapp as Wilson, the Notorious Canary Trainer
Benjamin S. Clark as The Retired Colourman
Basil Davenport as Thor Bridge
Isaac S. George as The Veiled Lodger
Peter Greig as The Three Gables
Herbert T. Hand Jr. as The Missing Three-Quarter*
Page Heldenbrand as Charles Augustus Milverton
Cyril A. Keller as The Colossal Schemes of Baron Maupertuis
George Macy as The Bruce-Partington Plans
Svend Petersen as The Mazarin Stone
David A. Randall as The Golden Pince-Nez*
Herbert W. Starr as The Three Students
Thomas L. Stix as The Darlington Substitution Scandal
Norman W. Ward as The Priory School
Frank Waters as The Yellow Face
Manly Wade Wellman as Wisteria Lodge
* received Investiture at another event during the year
What is an Investiture?

Two-Shilling Award:
Not awarded until 1962.
What is a Two-Shilling Award?

The Woman:
Not identified; possibly none.
What is The Woman honour?

"Stand with me here upon the terrace..."
(as named at this Dinner, not their year of passing)
None this year.
What is the origin of “standing on the terrace?”

Morley-Montgomery Award:
Not awarded until 1959.
What is the Morley-Montgomery Award?

Reports on the Dinner

1951 BSI Dinner Minutes (digitized images at Harvard)
Note: the minutes repeat some past investitures from 1944.

List of 1951 BSI Dinner Attendees (digitized image at Harvard)

Key to People in the 1951 BSI Dinner photo (PDF)


None available online at this time.

Related Materials

1951 BSI Dinner Menu (digitized image at Harvard)
Cover, interior, and back.  Sequence 35-37.

Blegen, Theodore C., “The Crowded Box-Room, Sherlock Holmes as Poet” (digitized images at Harvard)
Brochure (which may have been distributed at the 1951 BSI Dinner) announcing a new book.  3 pages.  Sequence 38-40.

"An Ideal Interview with Sherlock Holmes" by "Anyhow"
Reprint booklet by the House of El Dieff from The Bohemian 1.5 (October 1893), distributed at the 1951 BSI Dinner (De Waal C21720).

Previous dinner: the 1950 BSI Dinner

Next dinner: the 1952 BSI Dinner

For an index to all BSI Dinners and photos, see our BSI Dinner Summary list.

The BSI Archive is located at the Houghton Library at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Archival material may be used by any qualified scholar, subject to the normal rules and regulations of the Library. For links to a detailed finding aid and related information, see our BSI Archive at Harvard page.

Page composed on 1/03/15 by Tamar Zeffren
Page updated 3/22/15 by Andy Solberg.
Page updated 8/1/19 by Randall Stock.
This page last updated 10/9/19 by Randall Stock.